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Právo: Warming will fundamentally change Czech landscape, forest

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Prague, Feb 8 (CTK) – The shape of the Czech landscape will fundamentally change in the years to come due to the warming because spruces, which now form up to a half of all forests in the country, need much water, which is short in many places, daily Pravo has written.
Citing Brno scientists, the daily writes that continuous spruce forests will disappear from lower-level areas by 2040.
“Views of places with beautiful upright spruces will become a rarity,” Petr Cermak, from the Forest Protection Institute of Mendel University in Brno, told Pravo.
He said not even this year’s tough winter with plenty of snow can change this.
“The spruce is soft, it is good to work with and that is why it is the most used tree in wood-processing industry. Other species are more demanding and they will probably require adjustments to the machinery used in sawmills and workshops,” Cermak said.
The linden is the Czech national tree, but the spruce has been the most spread in the country for many decades, Pravo writes.
It writes that scientists say it is unable to cope with the changes of weather which has been rather confused in the recent years. Even though there is more and more precipitation every year, the landscape is arid, Pravo writes.
The reason is that precipitation is uneven. In the spring, it rains less, while in summer it rains more, but water quickly evaporates because of higher temperatures, Pravo writes.
In the past, conditions above 500 metres above sea level were suitable for cultivating spruces on 85 percent of the country’s territory, Pravo writes.
It writes that now, it is only about 20 percent and the situation will further worsen. Continuous spruce forests will be preserved in the mountains, where they will have enough moisture throughout the year.
In addition, the drought makes spruces less resistant to pests and storms and foresters see a solution in the overall change of the landscape, Pravo writes.
The drying up forests will have to be cut and the continuous spruce forests will have to be replaced with mixed forests of oaks, beeches and firs, Pravo writes.
“We will have to learn to seek the most suitable places for planting spruces. In the newly emerging mixed forests, it will be the parts where there are swamps. Only this can ensure enough moisture for spruces,” Cermak said.

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